It's been over a decade since Subaru was featured in an official Gymkhana video. The second instalment of the series in 2009 had Ken Block driving a WRX STI that was more rally-focused as opposed to being a wild, physics-defying machine. This 862-bhp Subie is way crazier, as is the man behind the wheel. Travis Pastrana likes to air things out, and holy hell does he go ballistic in his Gymkhana debut.
Officially, the eleventh instalment in the official YouTube series is called Gymkhana 2020: Travis Pastrana Takeover. It takes place in and around his seaside hometown of Annapolis, Maryland, USA and to make sure we know there's a different man behind the wheel, he opens by jumping over a bloody offshore racing boat in a wide channel. We aren't told how big the gap is, nor are we told how high the car is above the water. It's a lot, and frankly, Pastrana's facial expressions while doing these stunts are almost as entertaining as the action.
That's not the only big air in the clip, but before we go further, we must discuss the railslide. This is where we really want to see Pastrana's reaction but alas, we're denied the footage.
Gallery: Gymkhana 2020 Pastrana Takeover
Technically speaking this isn't a railslide in the traditional sense, as there's no rail. We also suspect it was totally not intended, because Pastrana actually drops a rear wheel off a dock while spinning a donut. The STI slides on its undercarriage, literally hanging over the Atlantic Ocean while the other three wheels try to pull the Subie back to solid ground. If a change of underwear didn't happen after that bit, we'll be thoroughly impressed. Hopefully, we'll see more about this near-swim experience in the Gymkhana 2020 extended cut, which we're told is coming next year.
Beyond that, we're treated to a few Gymkhana staples like sliding through city streets, donuts, more donuts, and even a tandem donut with a brand new Subaru BRZ. The monkey on the Segway returns, but then we're treated to more airborne antics with a 360-degree jump on a runway while going head-to-head with a Red Bull air racer. The action moves to rural streets where Pastrana clocks some serious speed, punctuated by yet another jump of epic proportions before coming to rest at Pastranaland where we see skateboarders, motocross riders, and a nine-year-old BMX racer doing a double backflip. You know, typical Pastrana brilliance.
It's clear that this new Gymkhana film was designed to not just be a passing-of-the-torch with a new driver doing the same stunts. Pastrana's strengths are speed and air versus Block's slower-speed spins and tire-destroying powerslides, and that comes through in glorious abundance. If this is the future of Gymkhana, the franchise is in very good hands.